I’ve been in a long process of reading Exodus, and this morning I read something that stuck with me. I just finished reading about God saving His people by parting (and then filling) the sea. Immediately after that they are wandering in the desert and then get upset and complain that they would have rather been left to die in Egypt because there was food there. Which, I partially have to laugh at because I can relate to prioritizing good food over a lot! And there is a lesson in there about the Israelites forgetting what God had just done for them. So God again helps them out and miraculously sends them manna (some kind of bread) and quail everyday so they can eat. And God tells them to just gather what they need for the day, which the Bible says is to test if they would follow His instructions. But there are a few who try to save it for the next day and when they wake up it’s smelly and has maggots in it- um, gross! Which I can also relate to- a sort of fear that the good things that God is doing for me now and His faithfulness won’t continue tomorrow.
I actually can relate to the Israelites in the desert quite a lot. I’m a lot like them. God does one thing for me, and then the next day I’m trying to hoard things because I’m afraid He has forgotten about me in the last 24 hours. And honestly, I’ve really wrestled with this the last couple of days (which is why there isn’t any post about doing some art project or whatever with my kids). It’s been a rough couple of days, and I’ve been much like the Israelites and grumbling that the path God has me on looks a lot like He’s led me into the desert to die. And I’ve read all this before, and been in enough Bible studies to have heard the lessons in here on forgetting what God has done. So I honesty was reading not really paying close attention to this whole lesson (which TOTALLY relates to where I am). But then there was a couple verses that I hadn’t really noticed before. Maybe you have, but I haven’t.
Exodus 16:32-34 “Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: “Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.” So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.” As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.”
God asks them to save some of the manna and keep it to show generations after what He did for them (and it’s also a big enough deal to be kept in the Ark of the Covenant with the Ten Commandments). Now, for whatever reason, this hit the lesson of remembering home. How many things has God done for me that I think I’ll remember but I don’t keep a token and so over time I do in fact just forget? Planning our wedding was one of those things that everywhere I turned God did something amazing, but now I can’t remember all of them. I remember some, and when I think about them they encourage me and quiet that voice inside of me that tells me all the reasons why I should be freaking out instead of walking in faith.
And so, the one thing I’m going to focus on today is remembering. Remembering the things of the past that God has done for me, so that in the now I have less of a desire to throw my fists up at Him and ask Him why He is trying to kill me in the desert. And I pray that God inspires me today with some kind of idea of how I can keep my manna in a jar to show my kids how God has provided and taken care of me. Then they will know what He’s done, but maybe they will also learn earlier in life to remember and hopefully freak out a little less.